On the Tort Reform Angle, Too Bad about Spitzer

By March 17, 2008Briefly Legal

The self-immolation by Gov. Eliot Spitzer may actually hurt the cause of tort reform in New York, at least with respect to medical malpractice. Spitzer, whose brother is a neurosurgeon, created a task force last year to recommend changes to state law to help rein in malpractice insurance premium increases (14 percent last year).

The plaintiff’s attorney, Eric Turkewitz, wrote about the issue at his blog, the New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog, noting the recent doctors’ rally in Albany sponsored by the Medical Society of the State of New York. (The doctors laid down white physicians’ coats on the capitol’s steps – a PR stunt new to us.) Spitzer told the doctors on March 5th that he would soon introduce legislative proposals.

From Newsday: “Spitzer said he was trying to fashion a winning proposal, similar to last year’s changes to workers’ compensation, which cut expenses by 20 percent and improved benefits. He is working with lawmakers, doctors, insurers and other interest groups.”

On business issues, new Gov. David Paterson had a middling record during his time in the New York Senate. The New York Business Council gave Paterson a “C” score in its 2006 “Vote for Jobs” index. Another “C” in 2005, too. No clear record on tort reform issues.

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